Ad Nut
Aug 26, 2021

A non-living influencer dances for a life insurer

A new campaign by TBWA Korea for Shinhan Life, featuring the virtual influencer known as Oh Rozy, is certainly appealing. But writing about it has proven unsettling for our pal Ad Nut.

Speaking of creativity in insurance advertising (which we were, in yesterday's feature, "Insurance CMOs seek to erase segment's rep for middling creative"), here's a recent campaign from newly created Korean insurance brand Shinhan Life.

Intended for young consumers (isn't everything?), it's a K-pop-flavoured, TikTok-inspired dance video by TBWA Korea, and it stars a virtual influencer known as Oh Rozy.

By definition, Oh* does not need life insurance, because she doesn't actually exist**, but that doesn't stop her from dancing enthusiastically to promote it, in the very particular mode of Korean K-pop stars***.

According to TBWA, Oh Rozy was designed by analysing the faces and characteristics which Gen Z in Korea prefers the most. In addition, her dance moves were "specially created for this campaign after analysing the most popular music and dance content from TikTok for those in 20-30s". 

The campaign will air across TV, digital and social.

* Ad Nut assumes 'Oh' is her 'family' name, although as far as Ad Nut knows, virtual influencers do not actually have families. Oh Rozy's profile on the Virtual Humans website—which is a thing that exists and has profiles of a frankly unnerving number of virtual influencers (186 by Ad Nut's count)—is mute about which name is her family name versus her given name. However, it did teach Ad Nut that her "birthday" is August 19 (belated best wishes!). And that her "age" is listed as "Forever 21", which may or may not be a paid endorsement. Also, her "height" is said to be 5 foot 7. Ad Nut freaked out about the existential ramifications of these facts for a while before deciding that a virtual being would in fact need to have an "age" in order to market itself to brands, and that a virtual height would be necessary in order to be animated consistently into virtual environments. So the world still makes some sense. 

** At least not according to commonly accepted definitions of that word. But hey, writing about this kind of thing messes with Ad Nut's already tenuous grip on reality, so...what are words anyway? And what does Ad Nut know about who may or may not be said to 'exist'? After all, Ad Nut is not a philosopher but rather a surprisingly literate squirrel...who works as an ad critic...and is always depicted only in cartoon form. ... Wait a minute. ... Um, Ad Nut suddenly feels it may be best not to pursue this particular line of reasoning any further. Ad Nut is moving on.

*** Who, come to think of it, are created through an entirely artificial process in Korean content factories. Nice young men and women with real personalities they may be, but they emerge fully formed, fully toned, fully media-savvy, fully trained in the dancerly arts, and uniformly gorgeous. And they go on to appear in more entertainment vehicles and brand engagements than seems possible for humans bound by the normal constraints of space, time, and the need for food and sleep. So really, what proof do we have that so-called 'real' K-Pop stars are any more (or less) real than virtual influencers? What does 'real' even mean, when you get right down to it? Ad Nut is going to go lie down for a while now.

Ad Nut is a surprisingly literate woodland creature that for unknown reasons has an unhealthy obsession with advertising. Ad Nut gathers ads from all over Asia and the world for your viewing pleasure, because Ad Nut loves you. You can also check out Ad Nut's Advertising Hall of Fame, or read about Ad Nut's strange obsession with 'murderous beasts'.


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